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Since Plato first coined the term 'mythologia', mythology has come to hold greater significance and power as a crucial element of civilization as a whole. Written by a leading scholar of ancient civilizations, A Dictionary of World Mythology presents the powerful gods of Greece, Rome, and Scandinavia, the more mystical deities of Buddhist and Hindu India, and the stern spirits of the African and American continents. Drawing upon hundreds of myths from around the globe, it not only reveals the vast differences in these civilizations, but also demonstrates the unity of mankind in its fundamental need for explanations of the unknown.